E tu, Congress?
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Is Congress getting itself into the perceived fray between the President and the Supreme Court?
The House Committee on Justice on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to pursue the impeachment complaint against an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The case involves charges of plagiarism and intellectual dishonesty against a member of the High Court, Mariano del Castillo. This was for his alleged lifting of the contents of decisions of international courts when he penned the decision on the comfort women, the young Filipino girls who were abducted and used as sex slaves by Japanese soldiers during their occupation of the Philippines.
The House Committee said it found probable cause to impeach Associate Justice del Castillo and in the voting, 40 were for the impeachment to proceed, and only seven were against it. Expectedly, those against belonged to the camp also perceived to side with Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona who has been the target of presidential criticism.
Interestingly, the issue had already been raised to the Supreme Court last year, and nobody was surprised when that body had ruled that the complaint against its member lacked merit and, forthwith, cleared Del Castillo.
It is also not surprising that some partisans have pointed out that the decision to proceed with the impeachment of Del Castillo was triggered by the ill-feelings between the Supreme Court and Malacañang, which the President has taken no pains to disguise.
The House Committee head, however, explained that the case had already been pending for so long and the 60-day limit set for them to act is nearing, hence the call for the voting.
The Supreme Court, through its spokesperson, has reiterated its stand in clearing Del Castillo of the charges, while the House appears to be bent on seeing the impeachment process to the end.
Are we therefore about to see a three-way jumble among the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary in our country? Isn’t it enough that we have so many rebel factions to deal with already?*